Being successful in sales requires pillars of belief. Think of them like tires on a car or legs on a table. When all four are solid (or fully inflated in the tire analogy), the business runs at its most productive. The four beliefs are:
Belief in Yourself
Belief in Your Product
Belief in Your Company
Belief in Your Industry
These are important, so I will cover each of them in a separate post. Let’s continue with the Belief in Your Industry.
The process of selling can be executed in a number of different ways. Think of traditional methods like door-to-door sales, brick-and-mortar retail establishments, and shopping malls. Add in newer methods like online e-commerce sites, email or app- based coupons and codes. Any of these methods can be used as long as the sales professional has a belief that they’re in the right industry.
Industry is different from simply a product. Sales processes can often scope or even define organizations. Imagine the door-to-door encyclopedia salesman of the 1960’s. He had to truly believe that people needed that encyclopedia for knowledge, and that they would accept the sales process of a stranger showing up on their doorstep. The combination of product and sales process is essential to a sales professional’s belief system. Let me give a couple examples.
I once worked in telemarketing, which is calling people who have filled out a form and submitted it, usually for the chance to win a prize. In this case, the company I was working for sold vacation packages. The telemarketers (almost always low wage, easily repeatable sales people) would call, tell the person that they had been selected, and then get them to agree to hear an in-person presentation. (The in-person sales people are almost always that hard-charging, hyper-aggressive personality.) I was in the middle of dialing yet another list of names and I called and asked to speak to Mr. Hudson (not the real name.) A woman picked up and identified herself as his widow. I hung up and quit on the spot.
In this example, I actually lacked belief in both the product and the sales process. The product was a chance to pay for vacations. The process was essentially fooling someone into giving up their contact information under the premise that they had “won” a vacation package. In fact, the package was paid for, but not free. They had to agree to listen to a hard-charging sales pitch from a salesman at the end. (As an add-on, let me say that I have heard plenty of people say that this 90 minute presentation absolutely wrecked their entire three or four day vacation, whether they bought the proposed time share or not.)
Here’s another example. I have a friend, let’s call him Sam, who runs marathons. After several years of doing this, he suffered from joint pain in his knees. I offered him some guidance on glucosamine. He had researched it and had heard good things. I gave him a sample and he had great results. He proceeded to go on and tell a few friends about the product, and they had similar, positive results. I asked him if he would be interested in getting paid for recommending the products. He agreed to hear more, but upon learning that it was a network marketing opportunity, he declined. (He remains a great referral partner to this day.)
Sam had then and still has strong belief in the product. He is almost fanatical about taking it. However, Sam had a negative experience in the past with network marketing (with a different company, not even in the health and wellness industry) and wasn’t willing to try another effort in this sales process. Belief in the industry is as important as the other pillars of belief discussed earlier. A sales professional must believe that she has an offering of value, and that the manner in which it is sold, and in which she is compensated, is fair and does not take advantage of her clients.
If you had to rate your belief in your industry, what would that rating be?
To your success,